Rylee Arnold knows she has a lot to prove on “Dancing With the Stars,” but she’s ready for the challenge. The younger sister of veteran DWTS Lindsay Arnold is just 18 years old, but in September 2023, she was announced as a pro dancer for the 32nd season of the celebrity ballroom competition.
Arnold is partnered with popular “Too Hot to Handle” star Harry Jowsey for her inaugural season of DWTS, which premiered less than four months after her high school graduation.
In a September 2023 interview, the young dancer said that while she’s not “saying” she’s going to win the mirrorball trophy, she’s not totally ruling it out either because she’s putting everything she has into the competition.
Rylee Arnold Agreed That She Has an Edge on ‘Dancing With the Stars’
At age 18, Arnold is nearly half the age of some DWTS pro dancers. Many of them are married and have families and other responsibilities. In a September 2023 interview on the “Lightweights” podcast, Arnold admitted to host Joe Vulpis that she has a lot to prove as a newcomer, but also admitted she would love to win.
“If we win the whole show, we get a mirrorball trophy… we get the bragging rights of winning which is my favorite thing ever,” she said.
After Vulpis noted that Arnold could have an edge against pro dancers who have busier lifestyles, she did admit that without the responsibilities of kids and family, she has been able to put the rest of her life on hold after spontaneously moving to Los Angeles to join the show.
“I am putting every part of my life into this show which I think is so important, because if you have like no distractions, you can do anything,” she said.
Later in the interview, Vulpis told Arnold he has a feeling she and Jowsey could win because she has more to prove – and time to dedicate to the competition.
“That’s what like people have been telling me too, they’re like I just feel like ‘you and Harry are going to win,’” Arnold revealed. “Yeah, I’m like dedicating my full heart into this which I think is so important. I mean, if I win that would be insane and I mean like I do feel like pressure because I am the newest pro, and like I’m going to go out there and all eyes are going to be ‘is she going to fail or is she going to succeed?’ … I’m like, I just want to like put my best foot forward and just show them what I’m made of. I’ve prepared literally my whole life to do this and I feel so ready, but there is that pressure.”
“I’m very confident,” she added of her skills. “I feel like I’ve prepared for the choreography of the ‘Dancing with the Stars’ aspect and I feel like I’m really ready for that.”
Arnold revealed she has heard a lot of comments that she is too young and immature to be a pro on the show, but she said she feels she is mature for her age and knows how to “handle” things after following her older sister in the DWTS ballroom for years.
“I’ve really prepared for this my whole life, and I don’t know if people understand that,” she said. “If I won this season or any season that I’m on I would just cry endlessly, like that would be so awesome,” the DWTS newcomer said.
Arnold previously told “Good Morning America” that she learned a lot watching her sister on the ABC dancing show. “I just remember when I was like 8 or 9, after a show one time, I was trying to choreograph a dance for Lindsay because I just literally wanted to be on the show so bad,” she said.
On the DWTS season 32 premiere, Arnold and Jowsey performed a cha cha which did not score high with the judges. The two were tied for the bottom of the judges’ leaderboard with 12 points out of 30. But scores are typically low on the DWTS premiere, and fan votes kept the duo safe from elimination.
Rylee Arnold is Already Looking Ahead to Future Seasons on DWTS
During the “Lightweights” interview, Arnold said Jowsey is the perfect match for her first go-around in the ballroom. But looking ahead to future seasons should she be asked back, she admitted she would “die” if “Euphoria” actor Jacob Elordi was her partner.
The teen then revealed it would be fun to partner with someone older.
“Patrick Dempsey, I would die if he was my partner,” she said. “Like he is my favorite person, [‘Grey’s Anatomy’] is my favorite show, but if he was my partner that would be really cool. I mean like A-list, like those kinds of people don’t really do ‘Dancing with the Stars’ but maybe for me he would. That’d be so cool,” she said.
“A young person like Harry is perfect for me that’s why I do think I was casted,” she added. “But I still think it would be really funny and like fun to see me with an older guy. I just think it’d be like funny and entertaining to see because I am so young like we would just be completely different.”
Before her DWTS debut, the younger Arnold sister wasn’t completely unknown to fans. In 2018, she competed in “Dancing With the Stars: Juniors.” Arnold was mentored by her older sister as she partnered with actor Miles Brown per Gold Derby. Arnold and Brown landed in fourth place in the “Juniors” competition.